Local Marine braces for Hurricane Florence

Local marine braces for Hurricane Florence

ROSSFORD, OH (WTOL) - More than a million people have evacuated in preparation of Hurricane Florence's landfall later this week.

One still standing by is Megan Hirzel, a marine from Rossford. She is currently stationed in North Carolina and is bracing for the impact.

Projections of Hurricane Florence show it heading directly for Megan's base, Camp Lejeune, literally just miles from her home and all she knows.

"It's mind boggling because obviously I am from northwest Ohio," said Sgt. Megan Hirzel, United States Marine Corps. "Hearing that a category four as bad as Katrina or something like Irma could hit or Sandy. It's kind of just crazy when you have a house and belongings and you're like ten miles from the shoreline."

The shores on North Carolina may look peaceful, but soon that will change as Hurricane Florence moves onto shore. That's something residents are preparing for now.

"Chaotic, it's chaotic if you go to the store," said Megan Hirzel.

Megan Hirzel is from originally from Rossford, but is a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps stationed in North Carolina along the shore in Jacksonville.

While several are evacuating because of the category four storm, she is torn about leaving her home and wants help others in the midst of what could be pure devastation.

"Being a marine you know everyone," explained Hirzel. "Just imagine our whole town of Rossford here and you don't know who is staying and who is leaving. Some are with kids and some that are pregnant, and they are staying and you're just like should I stay just in case or should I go? It's just kind of heart wrenching."

This will be Megan's first experience with a hurricane and she's doing her best to prepare for the storm. She's used internet videos to learn how to protect her home from the impact, but fears most for the flooding that will be caused.

"Usually my neighborhood floods after about a day of rain, so I expect nothing less than two, three feet, four feet of standing water before the actual flooding hits after the storm comes through," explained Hirzel.

Megan said her Marine Corps brothers and sisters are ready to help if they are called into action, but she isn't able to fully grasp what might happen in just a few short days.

"I honestly don't think I've come to the conclusion that all my stuff that is here could be gone and you know I could possibly lose some people," said Megan Hirzel. "You try not to think about that. You try to think optimistically that the storm is going to veer off."

Megan said she is playing it by ear, but recognizes her risks of staying on base. She said she truly is deciding where she is needed and hoping for the best.

Florence is expected to make landfall Thursday as a category four hurricane.